The five Ws of winter tires
We all know at least one person who refuses to install winter tires despite constantly driving during Canadian winters. They’ll cite a number of reasons why they don’t need them like, “I’m good with all-season tires”, “I’ve never had an accident” or “my car has four-wheel drive”. But in reality, your company’s vehicles – and drivers – are safer with winter tires.
Here’s why… (and what, where, who and when)
What’s the difference between winter tires and regular tires?
Winter tires are made of a softer compound of rubber which gives you more traction, making it easier to maintain control of your vehicle. Because they’re so soft, they’ll wear out very quickly if used year round. Winter tires can also be studded, meaning they have small, BB-like pieces of metal which stick out of them, giving you more traction when driving on ice. Your supplier will know if they’re legal in your jurisdiction.
Why should you install them on your company’s vehicles?
The first reason is pretty simple – in some parts of Canada like Quebec, it’s the law. The second reason is also straightforward –there’s never a good reason to jeopardize your employees’ safety or your own. This next one isn’t as obvious but still very important: It could end up saving your business money in the long run by helping you avoid accidents, added insurance costs and in some extreme cases, even legal fees.
Where are they needed?
Pretty much anywhere that road and weather conditions are affected by winter. Whether you’re driving on snowy highways, wet and slushy gravel roads or intersections that are covered in black ice, winter tires will help keep you safe.
Who should install them?
While it may be tempting to save a few bucks and do it yourself, your best bet is to go to a professional service. Improperly installed tires can damage your vehicle and even make you lose a wheel while driving. Avoiding that type of incident is definitely worth the installation fee. Be sure to get the wheel lugs inspected and retightened at the tire shop before reaching the first 250 kilometres.
When should they be installed?
Quebec residents know they legally need to have winter tires on from mid-December to mid-March. If there are no such laws in your region, try to install winter tires on your company vehicles in the fall when the average temperature drops to around seven degrees Celsius. Likewise, it’s safe to remove them in the spring when the temperature rises to seven degrees Celsius on a consistent basis.
Without question, installing winter tires on your company cars will greatly benefit your vehicles, employees and bottom line.